JUNE 9, 2016 - Take action and reduce wildfire threat to your property

Contact: Yeraldin Deavila, Public Information Officer
Phone: (775) 687-0772
E-mail: ydeavila@doi.nv.gov


Take action and reduce wildfire threat to your property

CARSON CITY, NV – Nevada endured a harsher than recent mild winters, which brought much-needed moisture to the region. While this moisture is responsible for picturesque sceneries, it can also lead to greener plants, and denser grass -- in other words: fire fuel.

The National Weather Service recently issued a Red Flag Warning lasting 2 days, which means there is an increased threat for wildfires.  The good news is that you as a homeowner can begin now, before a wildfire starts, to protect your home by decreasing the possibility of your home being engulfed in flames.

“Mitigation is key to reducing loss of property due to wildfires, but it is only effective if it is done before disaster strikes,” explained Insurance Commissioner Barbara Richardson.

According to the Living with Fire Program, creating a defensible space around your home can reduce the threat of wildfires affecting your home. In the event of a wildfire, defensible space can also help the firefighters defend your property safely and more effectively.

Begin by knowing how much distance from the base of the house extending outward your property needs as it depends on the vegetation surrounding the home and the steepness of the slope. Living with Fire has a “Defensible Space Calculator” on their website at http://www.livingwithfire.info/before-the-fire that can recommend how much defensible space your property needs.

Once you identify how much defensible space is recommended for your property, the next step is to consider removing dead and dying trees, dead native and ornamental shrubs, dead branches, leaves, needles and twigs that are still attached to plants, and removing grass, weeds and flowers within the recommended defensible space zone.

Creating a separation between native trees and shrubs such as Jeffery Pine, Pinyon, Juniper and Sagebrush also helps reduce the fire danger. Additionally, removing the lower tree branches to at least 10 feet can reduce the risk of a fire using the down low branches to spread to the taller plants. This is known as “ladder fuel.”

Even though reducing the fuel will reduce the risk of fire to your home, it is also important to protect your home with adequate insurance.

The Nevada Division of Insurance recommends that you conduct a checkup that includes completing a home inventory and reviewing the provisions of your homeowner’s policy with your insurance agent or insurance company. This inventory and review will ensure appropriate and adequate coverage is in place to repair or replace your home and belongings in the event that it is destroyed by a fire.

The Division has resources available on its website to help homeowners and renters. Please visit the Division’s website at http://doi.nv.gov/Consumers/Homeowners-Insurance/Home-Inventory/ for tips on how to create a home inventory. You can also view the Nevada Consumer’s Guide to Home Insurance at http://doi.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/doinvgov/_public-documents/News-Notes/HomeInsuranceGuide2011B.pdf.

Don’t forget to also check out the NAIC’s free myHOME Scr.APP.book downloadable app that allows you to quickly photograph and capture descriptions of your possessions room by room, then store electronically for safekeeping. The app is available for iPhone® and Android devices.

About the Nevada Division of Insurance

The State of Nevada Division of Insurance, a Division of the Nevada Department of Business and Industry, protects the rights of Nevada consumers and regulates Nevada’s $11.9 billion insurance industry. The Division of Insurance has offices in Carson City and Las Vegas. In 2015, the Division investigated more than 3,200 consumer complaints and recovered nearly $5 million on behalf of consumers. For more information about the Division of Insurance, visit DOI.NV.GOV or download the Division’s smartphone app NDOI Connect today in the Apple App Store and Google Play.